Let’s face it. In normal circumstances, hospitals can be a real drag, especially since the reasons we usually visit them are unpleasant, to say the least. Between the harsh, clinical lighting, the grim atmosphere, and (depending on where you live) the cost of going for illnesses both big and small, it’s safe to say that they’re the worst. Fortunately, the transformative power of anime makes even a place as dismal and depressing as a hospital a pleasure to visit on a regular occasion.
Whether it’s because of the staff of vivacious and busty nurses, the presence of a world-famous doctor capable of performing death-defying medical miracles, or a sinister plot hidden below the surface, our favorite shows give us plenty of reasons to throw out those apples and visit the doctor as often as possible. Here are our Top 10 Anime Hospitals!
10. Hinamizawa Clinic from Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (When They Cry)
One thing is for sure; the small village of Hinamizawa is in definite need of a serious medical facility. For such a small town, it has a nasty history of murders and disappearances associated with one of its most popular events – a festival for the village’s patron god, Oyashiro. Even more peculiar is an illness that seems to be unique to the town, Hinamizawa Syndrome, which is a type of psychosis that causes the town’s residents to behave erratically.
Nurse Miyo Takano is the hardest working employee at the clinic, although whether that’s a good or bad thing remains to be seen. She is an eerie presence that seems to take pleasure in making others feel uncomfortable. She’s very well-informed about Hinamizawa’s history and works tirelessly to figure out a cure for Hinamizawa Syndrome. She sees her patients less as people and more as guinea pigs, begging the question, are medical breakthroughs worth the cost to those who suffer for the knowledge?
9. Soma House from Fruits Basket
This selection is a bit unconventional since the setting of the show Fruits Basket was never explicitly stated throughout the series, although devotees believe that it takes place in a rural area outside of Tokyo. Such is the area 16-year-old Tooru finds herself in when she moves to live with her grandfather after her mother’s untimely death. The even more untimely renovations scheduled by her grandfather put her in an even bigger bind until she is generously offered a place to stay by the Souma family.
One member of the family, Hatori, practices medicine at the local medical facility. While he is considered a capable medical practitioner, he spends most of his time making house calls and catering to the private needs of the Souma family; specifically, erasing the memory of anyone unfortunate enough to uncover their family’s dark secret.
8. Irabu General Hospital from Kuuchuu Buranko (Welcome to Irabu's Office)
Based off of a series of short stories by Hideo Okuda before being adapted into an anime series, Kuuchuu Buranko tells the story of the immature doctor, Ichiro Irabu, who practices psychiatry at Irabu General Hospital. Although Ichiro’s medical credentials are often called into question due to his penchant for administering injections to his patients, as well as his failed dabble in pediatrics, he does his best to attend to the mental wellness of visitors to his facilities.
And what visitors he has. There’s a trapeze artist who has lost his mojo, a public servant whose bird won’t quit (literally), a romance novelist with a severe case of OCD that results in persistent vomiting, and much more. No matter the problem, Dr. Irabu gets to the bottom of it and helps his patients get back on their feet. Irabu, both the hospital and the doctor, both deserve a better reputation.
7. Mochizuki General Hospital from Triage X
Although a normal hospital to anyone entering for a checkup or injury, there’s more to Mochizuki General than meets the eye. This is especially true on one fateful day when Arashi Mikami is brought in with life-threatening injuries after losing his family and his best friend, Ryu, in a terrorist attack. Thanks to the organs of his deceased friend, Arashi survives a risky surgery and is offered a chance to prevent other innocent people from suffering the way he did by joining a covert operation called Black Label.
A vigilante organization comprised of hospital staff and youngsters from the nearby high school, Black Label views the criminal scumbags that cause suffering to society as a disease, and they’re the cure. Surrounded by a bevy of buxom babes, Arashi and the rest of the team take on all comers from the criminal underworld, and dispense ultimate justice in the name of the greater good.
6. Ise Hospital from Hanbun no Tsuki ga Noboru Sora (Looking Up At The Half-Moon)
Based in Ise, in Mie Prefecture, the hospital in Hanbun no Tsuki ga Noboru Sora is never actually given an official name, but that doesn’t make the story that takes place within it any less compelling. The story revolves around two seventeen-year-olds, Yuichi Ezaki and Rika Akiba, who are both hospitalized for their chronic conditions (Hepatitis A and a weak heart valve, respectively). They find solace in each other’s company as they are isolated from their friends and the outside world.
Which isn’t to forget the other patients in the hospital, or the friendly staff that encourage their budding romance. Although there’s a hefty dose of comedy inside the hospital walls, many of the people that reside within are full of hard-earned wisdom of love lost or unrequited, and the moral of the story is to make the most of the time we have with those who are special to us.
5. Yuu Mental Clinic from Anime de Wakaru Shinryou Naika (Comical Psychosomatic Medicine)
The Yuu Mental Clinic is the practice of the brilliant psychologist, Ryo Shinnai, who is assisted by the indispensable, cheerful nurse, Asuna. With the occasional help of his daughters, Ryo tries to help the strange characters that enter his clinic seeking treatment, with surprising insight and a great sense of humor.
Part of the great thing about this show is that, while episodes are only five minutes and the story is quite minimal, it does a fantastic job of informing viewers about various mental illnesses. Not only does it manage to educate about a topic that is still considered somewhat off limits in many societies (especially Japan), but it manages to elevate the usually grim gravity associated with mental illness by peppering each episode with jokes. The medical work provided from the Yuu Mental Clinic is as good for fans as it is for the characters!
4. Ogami Hospital from Nanako Kaitai Shinsho (Amazing Nurse Nanako)
Amazing Nurse Nanako revolves around Nanako Shichigusa, a 16-year-old who works as a maid at the hospital of the head doctor, Kyogi Ogami. The show mostly focuses on the relationship between Nanako and Kyogi, a white knight in the best of times and a ball buster in the worst. Slowly, the show reveals how intimately the two are connected due to mysterious events in the past. Eventually, a sinister plot between the government and the Vatican involving unbelievable experiments comes to light, and the real point of the show becomes apparent.
Kyogi Ogami uses the hospital’s facilities as research to try to get to the bottom of “Nanako Disease,” a mysterious illness that killed the original Nanako, who was involved in an experiment cyborg program and has claimed the lives of every subsequent clone. He owes it to Nanako’s legacy to find a cure, and let her live the life he stole from her so many years before.
3. Dr. Sawa’s Hospital – Ray The Animation (Ray)
Ray Kasugano lost her eyes as a child when they were stolen and sold on the black market. Fortunately for her, she was rescued by the underground, genius surgeon Black Jack, who performed a cybernetic transplant surgery and outfitted her with x-ray eyes. Ten years later, she grew up to become a surgeon herself to return the good deed.
Ray is considered cold by her coworkers, but that’s in part due to the fact that she’s searching for the criminals who stole her eyes, as well as her lost love. However, Ray works tirelessly with the other staff at the hospital, and thanks to her special eyes, she is capable of performing medical feats with a precision real-life surgeons could only dream of. Which is great, because of the hospital, under Dr. Sawa’s direction, seems to attract the most difficult cases around.
2. Eisler Memorial Hospital from Monster
Located in Dusseldorf, Germany, Eisler Memorial Hospital is one of the country’s top facilities, and the employer of world-renowned Japanese brain surgeon, Dr. Kenzo Tenma. Although Tenma has a bright career at the hospital, he is dissatisfied with the hospital’s politics, which usually result in disproportionate treatment of wealthy or influential patients at the expense of the less fortunate. Everything changes when fraternal twins Johan and Anna Liebert are brought in on the cusp of death after a massacre, at the exact same time as the mayor.
Tenma goes with his gut and saves the twins, who arrived before the mayor, and loses his chance to work his way up the hospital’s hierarchy. However, Tenma’s superiors meet their deaths throughout the years under mysterious circumstances, and Tenma rises to the position of Chief of Surgery. Despite his good fortune, it isn’t long before Tenma learns that even the best intention can have unintended consequences, and even the most brilliant surgery can create a monster.
1. University Hospital from Young Black Jack
Rounding out the list at #1 is the University Hospital attended by a young but still-scarred Kuro Hazama, the med student who would go on to become the world-famous doctor who operates outside medical boundaries, Black Jack. The show is set in the tumultuous 60s, with the global spotlight on the Vietnam War, and student activism at an all-time high.
Part of what makes the hospital Kuro is learning at so special is the facility’s staff, and his classmates, who also share his desire to save patients no matter what. The influence they have on him as a young doctor is obvious; from challenging his desire to work outside the law, to requiring him to step up to the bar with increasingly difficult cases. The joy of the show is seeing Black Jack take his first steps to becoming the back-alley surgeon we all know and love.
With that, we’ve come to an end of our Top 10 Anime Hospitals. It’s clear that what sets one facility apart from another isn’t just its location or when it was built, but the caliber of the staff that works there, and their desires to change the world for the better (or in some cases, worse).
Are there any hospitals that you wouldn’t mind being checked into, or that you wouldn’t visit even in a case of life and death? Sound off in the comments and let us know!